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Liverpool vs Everton
Everton confident ahead of Merseyside derby
29 November 2018, 2:03 PM

Everton’s ability to grind out results has boosted their confidence ahead of Sunday’s Merseyside derby against Liverpool in the Premier League, midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson has said.

Iceland international Sigurdsson scored the winning goal as Everton overcame promoted Cardiff City 1-0 last Saturday to extend their unbeaten league run to three games and climb to sixth in the table on 22 points.

“I think all the boys have been looking forward to the derby since the start of the season and that feeling has grown with the performances we have been putting together over the past couple of months. The team is playing really well and getting results and we are grinding out wins when we’re not playing our best football,” says Sigurdsson

Victory over Cardiff followed a determined display at Stamford Bridge, where Everton held title contenders Chelsea to a goalless draw earlier this month.

“We can take confidence from the way we played at Chelsea. That was a good result,” Sigurdsson, who has scored six goals this season, added.

Liverpool come into the 232nd meeting with their city rivals on the back of a 2-1 defeat by French side Paris St Germain in the Champions League.

Juergen Klopp’s side are unbeaten in the league and sit second on 33 points, two behind leaders Manchester City and go into the match having not lost to Everton at Anfield since 1999.

“Sunday is another big game for us, we want to make it a good one and we’ll be ready for the challenge,” says Sigurdsson.

Matric exam in progress
KZN to spend over R300 million on matric marking
28 November 2018, 8:27 PM

The KwaZulu-Natal Education Department has set aside over R300 million for the marking of matric examination papers in 2018. More than 9 000 teachers will start marking scripts next week at more than 27 marking centres throughout the province.

Examination stress levels have eased off among matriculants with the writing of the final official paper on Wednesday. The pressure now is on the Education Department as marking is about to commence.

The province achieved a 72.8% matric pass rate in 2017, a significant improvement from the previous pass rate of 66% in 2016.

Education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwane says they are aiming for an 80% pass rate.

“We are very happy as the Department of Education in KwaZulu-Natal with the school examinations that we have been conducting in the province. We are very excited. Our excitement mostly comes from the fact that we know there has been again, this year, an incident-free examination. Where we’ve conducted our examinations where we had no incidents or disturbances. We are very excited that our examinations have been successful. We do believe that once again, in this province, we are going to improve,” says Dlungwane

Dlungwane says more than 9 000 teachers will mark scripts at over 27 centres in the province.

“We are also going to be spending over R300 million over this period, for the marking and the payments and everything else that has to do with the marking. Because our system is so huge. We are managing such a big thing. That investment we are making, but we believe it is worth investing in this system because we are investing in our future,” explains Dlungwane.

Unions are satisfied with the budget set aside for marking scripts, but they say are still concerned about the payment delays in the previous years.

South African Democratic Teachers Union (Sadtu)’s Nomarashiya Caluza says they want government to be mindful of labour rights during the marking process.

“When it comes to the payment, we all know that the issue of the tariff is decided at a national level. So, for the province, what remains important is for it to ensure that it pays timeously because we do not want a situation where it’s time for teachers to be paid, but the department is playing hide and seek,” says Caluza

Marking is set to start on the 3rd of December and matric results will be released on the 3rd and 4th January 2019.

Marouane Fellaini
Fellaini’s late goal books United’s place in Champions League last 16
28 November 2018, 5:10 PM

Manchester United’s Marouane Fellaini proved once again why he has become Jose Mourinho’s go to player with his late goal against Swiss side Young Boys securing a place in the Champions League last 16 on Tuesday.

There have been few United players who have lived up to their hype during the Mourinho era at Old Trafford and the 31 year old former Everton midfielder is perhaps alone in having exceeded expectations.

While Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez struggle to justify the huge investment in them, the outlay on the Belgian international is proving to be money well spent.

Fellaini’s arrival in 2013 as a 27.5 million pounds ($35.18 million) signing by his former Everton boss David Moyes, was hardly greeted with enthusiasm by United fans who were already underwhelmed by the choice of successor to Alex Ferguson.

Moyes later said he did not want to make Fellaini his first buy because he feared how it would be viewed by sceptical fans.

After the Scot was sacked, his replacement as manager Dutchman Luis van Gaal stuck with the tall Belgian and Mourinho has relished turning to him as an impact substitute.

“I always try to give everything for the team whether I start or don’t start. Everybody knows I am a team player. I feel comfortable. I’m happy with him. He gives me a lot of confidence and he trusts me. That’s important for a player. I try to pay him back on the pitch,” says Fellaini about the team and manager. Mourinho has turned to Fellaini on several occasions as an extra attacker, using his height to allow a more direct style in the final stages when chasing a game.

He has also used the Belgian as a protector in front of his often fragile defence, where his physical presence and aerial prowess have helped nullify opponents.

The manager’s reaction to the late goal that secured a 1-0 win on Tuesday, a well taken shot on the turn was a release of frustration as the Portuguese smashed water bottles against the ground but after the game he had a word for Fellaini.

“Felli works hard. That is what you can demand and that is what a player has to do without anyone demanding it and he does that,” says Mourinho, whose side are struggling in seventh place in the Premier League.

Whatever happens at the end of the campaign, with transfer rumours already swirling around United’s most marketable assets, it would be a surprise if Fellaini is not part of the club’s plans.

 

Ngoako Ramathlodi
Ramathlodi believes his removal was punishment
28 November 2018, 4:00 PM

Former Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramathlodi has told the commission of inquiry into state capture that he believes he was removed from his position, as he refused to cooperate with former President Jacob Zuma.

Ramathlodi is continuing to give his evidence to the commission underway in Parktown in Johannesburg.

He says he was being forced to do wrong things in the department, which resulted in him being reshuffled to another position. Ramathlodi says his moving by Zuma to the Department of Public Service and Administration was punishment rather than a promotion.

“I felt we were doing a good job and forced to do wrong things. So the promotion was punishment to send a message and once I left, there’s a Gupta minister coming in. I’m sent to public administration and a man who is known and who confesses to be a Gupta friend replaces you and then all of a sudden Optimum Mine is sold to the Guptas,” says Ramathlodi.

Watch video below:

initiates
Fourth initiate dies in Eastern Cape following suicide
28 November 2018, 3:21 PM

A 17-year-old initiate has died after allegedly committing suicide in the Maluti area in the Eastern Cape. This is the second death of an initiate in the Alfred Nzo District bringing to four the death toll since the beginning of the summer initiation season.

Provincial Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Spokesperson Mamkeli Ngam says they have launched an investigation to determine the reasons behind the incident.

“On behalf of Cogta MEC FB Xasa, in the Eastern province, we would like to confirm the fourth death in the province. Preliminary reports that we have received from the Department of Health are that the initiate in question hanged himself. However, we wish to confirm that we would like to follow up with a proper investigation … the exact reasons for the initiate who has hanged himself. And MEC Xasa wishes to send his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and their relatives,” explains Ngam.

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